Originally Posted by vwr1vwf
I'm not sure I understand how my thorasic spine affects my lumbar. Are you talking about posture/stance? Or upper body physical condition?
I think what loboskis meant is that 70% of spinal mobility should come from your thoracic spine.
The reason this is relevant is that, often low back problems are either the result of, or exacerbated by, poor thoracic spine and/or hip mobility. The theory goes that the anatomy of the lumbar vertebrae are such that there really isn't much room for movement (rotation, flexion and extension). but as you move into the thoracic spine, the alignment of the facet joints is such that there is room for quite a bit of movement.
Similarly, the hip is a ball and socket joint, meaning lots of room for movement.
So how is this relevant to your issues in the L vertebrae? If you have reduced mobility in the thoracic spine and/or the hips - which most people who have desk jobs do, as do most cyclists and many skiers (the postures are similar) - then when you move in a way that requires any flexion, extension or rotation, your lumbar region ends up having to move more than it was meant to. This becomes "the perfect storm" for low back problems if this is accompanied by weak core muscles.
Often people's low back problems improve if they improve their t-spine and hip mobility and also improve core strength. This is not to say that it will repair the existing damage, but rather it helps the body to move as it should so that your daily living doesn't continue to put extra pressure and strain on the damage. For many people, this can be enough (or in conjunction with physio/manual therapy) to make them completely symptom free.
I've written a few articles about what I've learned regarding low back pain here:
This summarizes what I've learned about low back stuff and the exercises I typically use with low back pain clients (I get lots of referrals from manual therapists):
This one's a summary of what I learned at a seminar I attended by a world-renowned physical therapist about the hip and spine:
And a two-part summary of what I learned at a seminar I attended by a world-renowned spinal biomechanist: